Why Do Massage Therapists Tell You To Drink Water After Your Massage?
After you receive a massage, one thing many massage therapists will tell you to do is to drink water. (I personally recommend 2-3 glasses more than you usually drink after a massage.) But why exactly do they give you this advice?
The standard go-to answer that many therapists adhere to is that during a massage, toxins are released in the body, and drinking water after a massage helps the body flush out those toxins. Although this is the standard response therapists have given for many, many years, there hasn't really been any 100% scientific evidence that this is the case. However, as with many things there is some truth and some hype.
What exactly happens during a massage that would need water? Well - lots of things. Let's start with muscles. Muscles get worked and manipulated and that can cause lots of things to happen. Anytime muscles are moved or used, they produce a by-product called lactic acid. This is the stuff that makes you feel burn-y or achy the day after you've done an intense workout or lifted something heavy. Drinking water after a massage can help you to keep too much lactic acid from sitting in and around your muscles by flushing it away and keeping you from being too sore the next day. But your muscles are not the only things affected by massage. Your body has lots of other stuff floating around in your system - blood, fluids, red and white blood cells, vitamins, and yes, toxins and waste. Massage helps push all of this stuff around - the main goal is getting the good stuff to move in and the bad stuff to move out. Drinking water helps all of this stuff keep moving in the right directions. Finally, as you get a massage, many of your organs and other body systems are also affected. The parts that release stress hormones can be calmed down, and other organs such as your liver and kidneys start working to filter and handle the increased movement of all your other fluids. Water plays a huge factor in keeping all of your organs flushed out and functioning properly, so if you make your organs work hard, it is considerate to add something to help them do their jobs.
So ultimately, why should you drink water after a massage? Not just because you just had a massage - you should ideally be drinking it frequently anyway. It goes hand-in-hand with massage because broken down, massage is there to help you (in whatever way it helps you specifically - everyone has different reasons and needs for massage) and water also helps you, so it is a good way to help the effects of the massage be more effective and lasting and overall is just plain good for you.